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The energy crisis
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Old 20-06-2022, 10:45   #736
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Re: The energy crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taf View Post
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61860717

Someone should remind Ofgem that that is how DD works. You pay the same every month, either gradually paying-off a debt caused by high use over winter, or you build up a credit to be able to clear the upcoming winter bills.

My former provider called me and asked if I wanted a growing credit to be refunded, and the caller was obviously surprised when I explained why I did not.
That’s how it’s supposed to work but it frequently doesn’t. If your usage and payments are in balance then you will have a modest debit balance in the winter as well as a modest credit balance in summer. But all too often in recent years the energy companies will use any level of debit in winter as “proof” that your payments are inadequate and unilaterally increase your direct debit. By late the following summer you then end up in excessive credit and not all the suppliers are proactive in issuing refunds.

Bulb have been especially bad at this over the last couple of years. More than once they have increased my DD even when we’ve been heading into summer with a credit balance because their projections supposedly show I’m not paying enough. I have manually adjusted the amount down via my online portal several times and had to phone to get a substantial refund on one occasion.
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Old 20-06-2022, 10:59   #737
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Re: The energy crisis

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Originally Posted by Chris View Post

Bulb have been especially bad at this over the last couple of years. More than once they have increased my DD even when we’ve been heading into summer with a credit balance because their projections supposedly show I’m not paying enough. I have manually adjusted the amount down via my online portal several times and had to phone to get a substantial refund on one occasion.
Bulbs billing cycle is something quite bizarre. Before Christmas they wanted to reduce our monthly total to £38 per month and set it accordingly. In reality, we were hitting about £80-90 actual usage but we had built up a large credit, but I said no way, bumped monthly amount back up to where it was.
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Old 20-06-2022, 13:30   #738
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Re: The energy crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taf View Post
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61860717

Someone should remind Ofgem that that is how DD works. You pay the same every month, either gradually paying-off a debt caused by high use over winter, or you build up a credit to be able to clear the upcoming winter bills.

My former provider called me and asked if I wanted a growing credit to be refunded, and the caller was obviously surprised when I explained why I did not.

The problem is that not all providers do/did that, leaving some customers with many hundreds of pounds in credit when their suppliers went bust. Avro never reviewed direct debits in my experience. When I renewed my tariff and asked for some of my credit balance to be refunded they refused and instead offered to reduce my future payments by £10 per month. But this was a result of me phoning them and asking, not them proactively reviewing my account.
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Old 20-06-2022, 18:58   #739
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Re: The energy crisis

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Originally Posted by Taf View Post
Someone should remind Ofgem that that is how DD works.
In theory, but they have been cheating it in recent years.
Working out your payments based on the full year being like winter, and building up large balances, exactly like a free load (from us).
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Old 20-06-2022, 19:34   #740
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Re: The energy crisis

Thought they had increased my DD too much, but adding up the past years
usage and using the new higher rates, it's not too far off. I will be building up
a large credit before winter sets in, which is annoying, but it should even out.
Makes it easier to budget with a known fixed amount. Too many people lack
the ability to cope with quarterly or half-yearly(eg water) bills
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Old 20-06-2022, 19:40   #741
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Re: The energy crisis

I got a call from EDF saying I need to up my monthly DD to £184 a month. At the moment I'm paying £116 a month. I asked for a statement with an up to date meter reading and I was £111 in credit. So something isn't right obviously.
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Old 20-06-2022, 19:53   #742
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Re: The energy crisis

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Originally Posted by peanut View Post
I got a call from EDF saying I need to up my monthly DD to £184 a month. At the moment I'm paying £116 a month. I asked for a statement with an up to date meter reading and I was £111 in credit. So something isn't right obviously.
Have you done what I did, and used the past years usage with the new rates? If financially you can cope with a variable DD(ie just paying the full amount you owe at the time of the bill), then try and change to that.
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Old 20-06-2022, 21:13   #743
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Re: The energy crisis

Are they legally allowed to set a DD amount that they decide, without your agreement? Just wondering ..
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Old 20-06-2022, 21:17   #744
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Re: The energy crisis

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Originally Posted by ianch99 View Post
Are they legally allowed to set a DD amount that they decide, without your agreement? Just wondering ..
Yes, they just have to tell you in advance. You agree to this as part of signing up to pay them via DD.
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Old 20-06-2022, 22:30   #745
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Re: The energy crisis

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Originally Posted by Damien View Post
Yes, they just have to tell you in advance. You agree to this as part of signing up to pay them via DD.
And you have the right to cancel your direct debit, or if in credit demand it be paid back. In fact you can your bank to a reverse a DD if you think its incorrect.
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Old 21-06-2022, 09:03   #746
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Re: The energy crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadking View Post
Have you done what I did, and used the past years usage with the new rates? If financially you can cope with a variable DD(ie just paying the full amount you owe at the time of the bill), then try and change to that.
With EDF it's set DD monthly with a bill every 6 months. So will be submitting a meter reading just for an up to date statement every 3 months to make sure everything is on track so no nasty surprises at the end of the 6 monthly period.
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Old 21-06-2022, 09:12   #747
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Re: The energy crisis

Fortunately our electricity and gas usage is low enough to be able to pay quarterly. Of recent months we've been bearing down on any "vampire" appliances and saving where possible: Washing machine at 30C, only boiling just enough in the kettle, media server is only on when actually being used or building ratio, electric heating only where absolutely necessary, etc.

We have two freezers at the moment so I'm running down the contents of the upright one as it's the least efficient so it can be turned off.

This electricity quarter is actually £80 less than the last even though the cost per unit and standing charge has gone up significantly.
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Old 21-06-2022, 09:42   #748
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Re: The energy crisis

Our electricity usage was pretty good until a smart meter caused a 40% jump and we still don't know why (maybe the old meter was reading low?).


But, on point, DD is just the mechanism, we pay by variable DD. When we did pay by fixed rate DD we alway accumulated credit, even over winter which shows how bad some of the estimates can be. Maybe they were hoping that by "over charging" they would encourage us to use more.
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Old 21-06-2022, 10:19   #749
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Re: The energy crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul View Post
In theory, but they have been cheating it in recent years.
Working out your payments based on the full year being like winter, and building up large balances, exactly like a free load (from us).
I timed my DD start so that I was always in debit until the end of the year. But the forced move to Scottish Power ruined that, so I have already built up a small credit level. The next hike in the Price Cap will wipe that out.

---------- Post added at 10:19 ---------- Previous post was at 10:14 ----------

I wonder if the Cost Of Living payments, which will be credited to our power company balances, has been taken into account?

2 neighbours said that they were looking forward to the "handouts" so that they could fly off for a holiday in the sun. When I told them they won't see any cash in their bank accounts, they were really miffed.
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Old 21-06-2022, 10:22   #750
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Re: The energy crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taf View Post
[/COLOR]I wonder if the Cost Of Living payments, which will be credited to our power company balances, has been taken into account?

2 neighbours said that they were looking forward to the "handouts" so that they could fly off for a holiday in the sun. When I told them they won't see any cash in their bank accounts, they were really miffed.
Not too sure but if they pay by DD then they could build up enough credit that'll be refunded back into their bank accounts.
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